102 Year Old Celebrates Birthday In Epic Way!

Blowing out 100 candles wasn’t good enough for Polito “Paul” Olivas, a 30-year Army veteran whose career took him through World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars. On Wednesday, the former Green Beret jumped tandem from a plane 14,000 feet in the air over Oahu’s North Shore and landed in Dillingham Airfield – a week after he turned 100. “I’d do it again,” he told a gaggle or reporters minutes after landing.  As a veteran paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division that jumped into Normandy, France, on D-Day in June 1944, Olivas has hundreds of parachute drops under his belt. But none included freefalling — the span in jumping before the chute opens. His jumps were all relatively low to the ground, and the parachutes were connected to a static line that automatically unfurled them as he exited the airplane bay door. His birthday jump had a minute-long freefall, followed by about five minutes under an open chute. He recalled that on D-Day, his plane was only about 300 feet above the ground when he jumped. “The closer you are to the ground, the less of a target you are,” Olivas said Wednesday morning as he awaited his flight. He described the sequence of emotions he felt as he dodged bullets above and on Normandy. “Fear turns into anger,” he said. “Then all you want to do is kill, like a mad dog. The adrenaline works.”

Teri Ann

Teri Ann

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